For a time there, it felt like every restaurant was contractually obligated to serve a Caesar salad. But instead of a variety of interpretations, this overabundance only lead to mediocrity and a whole bunch of bland grilled chicken. This is an odd fate for such a truly dynamic salad, one that pairs crunchy lettuce with a dressing that is at once tart but also rich and complex.
Luckily, a new wave of restaurants have reclaimed the salad, lavishing attention on the once neglected dish. Some have stripped the salad to its essence, producing a salad that's light and vibrant, miles away from the clunky version found at most joints. Still others took the original and adapted to their own personal whims, transforming the Caesar salad while maintaining its essential character.
Check out some of the Caesar salads we love in Chicago by clicking through the slideshow. Of course, for such a ubiquitous dish, there was no way we could include them all. Notably, we decided not to dip our toes in the steakhouse genre, though we hope to remedy that soon.